Arizona PR executive, 35, who filmed her own public meltdown wrecking a display of masks in Target claims she was 'digitally brainwashed' by QAnon and compares her 'radicalization' to alcoholism

 A woman who filmed herself wrecking a display of face masks in Target has revealed how she was 'groomed' by QAnon, chose the conspiracy theory over her family and is still in therapy following the incident almost a year later.

Melissa Rein Lively, a 35-year-old publicist, hit headlines back on July 4 after she tore the face coverings off a display and threw them to the ground while shouting expletives and saying she was wearing a '$40,000 Rolex' in the store in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The footage, which she streamed live on her Instagram, quickly went viral and earned her the nickname 'Rolex Karen.'

In a second video, Lively filmed police arriving at her home after her husband alerted the authorities as she told the officers she was a spokesperson for the White House and QAnon and had been on the phone to Donald Trump 'all the time.'

Now, eight months on from the incident, Lively has spoken out to reveal how her actions were the result of being 'pretty effectively radicalized' by QAnon which ultimately left her feeling 'robbed of my life.'

Lively told how she went from being 'the first person in the grocery store with a mask and gloves on' in February to going into 'denial about the pandemic' and losing trust in everyone including her husband because of 'digital brainwashing' by the conspiracy theory.  

A woman who filmed herself wrecking a display of face masks in Target has revealed how she was 'groomed' by QAnon, chose the conspiracy theory over her family and is still in therapy following the incident almost a year later. Melissa Rein Lively pictured

A woman who filmed herself wrecking a display of face masks in Target has revealed how she was 'groomed' by QAnon, chose the conspiracy theory over her family and is still in therapy following the incident almost a year later. Melissa Rein Lively pictured

The 35-year-old told Yahoo News, in an interview to coincide with the day - March 11 - the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic, how her indoctrination by QAnon was 'like hitting rock bottom for alcohol or drugs' and that she is still trying to rebuild her life.

Lively said she went from being 'freaked out' about the pandemic early on before the extent of the virus became common knowledge across the US to being outraged about being told to wear a mask in just a matter of months after being drawn in to videos of the conspiracy theory online.   

'On January 27, I had this terrifying phone call with my brother. He was in China with his wife, who’s Chinese, visiting family for the Chinese New Year,' she said.


'They were starting to see images of people becoming very sick in the streets and keeling over on the sidewalk. Images that were not quite making it to the US yet.' 

Lively said her brother 'freaked out' and headed back to the US fearful the borders would close but life continued to carry on as normal in the US.

'I went to work the next day, and everything was normal. If I had come into a meeting with clients and been like, “I know we’ve got that big event on March 15, but we're gonna have to pull the plug on that because there’s a huge pandemic coming,” people would have thought I was crazy,' she said.

Melissa Rein Lively, a 35-year-old publicist, hit headlines back on July 4 after she tore the face coverings off a display and threw them to the ground while shouting expletives and saying she was wearing a '$40,000 Rolex' in the store in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Melissa Rein Lively, a 35-year-old publicist, hit headlines back on July 4 after she tore the face coverings off a display and threw them to the ground while shouting expletives and saying she was wearing a '$40,000 Rolex' in the store in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The footage (above), which she streamed live on her Instagram Live, quickly went viral
'This s***'s over, this s***'s over, this s****'s over. Woo! I don’t need this s***. We don’t want any of this anymore, this s***'s over,’ she’s heard saying as she spreads the masks across the ground

The footage (above), which she streamed live on her Instagram Live, quickly went viral. 'This s***'s over, this s***'s over, this s****'s over. Woo! I don’t need this s***. We don’t want any of this anymore, this s***'s over,’ she’s heard saying as she spreads the masks across the ground

Two Target employees then approach her as she makes her mess and say,' Ma’am can you please stop'

Two Target employees then approach her as she makes her mess and say,' Ma’am can you please stop'

'Rolex Karen' films herself trashing masks inside Target
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By the first week of February, she said she 'was the first person in the grocery store with a mask and gloves on' and people thought she was 'nuts.'

She started canceling all her work meetings and staying home voluntarily by the middle of the month as she grew increasingly concerned about the virus that has now claimed the lives of 530,000 Americans.

When her worst fears were confirmed on March 11 when the WHO declared the virus a pandemic, Lively said she 'the reality set in' and she 'couldn't catch my breath.'   

'In my mind’s eye, I’m seeing the compounding tragedy that was gonna unroll before us. I can see it like dominoes,' she told Yahoo.

'The economy is going to crash. People are going to get very, very sick. If what they're saying is true, a lot of people are going to die. 

'I just had a very private sort of mental collapse. That week the reality set in — the avalanche of information, uncertainty, confusion, panic, distress. I was just absolutely drowning. And I couldn't catch my breath.'

Lively said she soon started coming across conspiracies about the pandemic on social media which were disguised as 'something about prayer or spiritual enlightenment or self-empowerment.' 

'It started to trickle into my news feed: “Here's what they're not telling us about the COVID-19 pandemic.” You click on something about prayer or spiritual enlightenment or self-empowerment,' she said. 

'And then it would transform into conspiracy theories.'

In a second video (above), Lively filmed police arriving at her home after her husband alerted the authorities as she told the officers she was a spokesperson for the White House and QAnon and had been on the phone to Donald Trump 'all the time'

In a second video (above), Lively filmed police arriving at her home after her husband alerted the authorities as she told the officers she was a spokesperson for the White House and QAnon and had been on the phone to Donald Trump 'all the time'

Cops visit Target mask attacker as she rants about Trump and QAnon
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Before long, Lively said she found herself in an 'echo chamber' where she was in denial about the pandemic and QAnon had emerged as her 'comfort'. 

'There was QAnon to comfort me and tell me, “Oh, it's not real. It’s not happening.” It was a digital brainwashing,' she said.

In just two short months, Lively said she went from being fearful about the pandemic to being 'pretty effectively radicalized' by the conspiracy theory.

When Arizona started reopening in May, she said she had a 'completely different mission' that she would not be forced to wear a mask to slow the spread of the virus.

Lively said, by this point, she felt 'every day was Judgment Day', she was having nightmares about her newfound beliefs and her husband was urging her to get help.

She recalled how this only pushed her further into the grips of QAnon as it 'basically grooms you to believe that anyone who tells you this is wrong, is one of the bad guys'. 

She added: 'So I started to not trust my husband.'

Things reached breaking point when her husband gave her an ultimatum to choose between her life and family or the conspiracy theory, she said.  

Now, eight months on from the incident, Lively (above) has spoken out to reveal how her actions were the result of being 'pretty effectively radicalized' by QAnon which ultimately left her 'robbed of my life'

Now, eight months on from the incident, Lively (above) has spoken out to reveal how her actions were the result of being 'pretty effectively radicalized' by QAnon which ultimately left her 'robbed of my life'

Lively revealed she chose QAnon and left her family, moving into a hotel a few days before the viral encounter on July 4.

The 35-year-old recalled driving to Target that day 'angry' that 'the New World Order was trying to kill us' and feeling 'robbed of my life.'

At this point she said she was so drawn into QAnon and the theories pushed online she believed the pandemic was the 'next Holocaust.'

'I’d seen a meme that kind of connected everything for me. It said, “First, they put you in the masks, and then they put you in the boxcars.” You know, “This is the next Holocaust,”' she told Yahoo.

'I have relatives who died in the Holocaust. So when I saw the masks at Target, I just lost it. All of that rage and grief and panic and fear just came out of me.' 

In the footage, Lively films a rack selling various face masks inside the Target store.

'Finally we meet the end of the road. I’ve been looking forward to this s*** all my f***ing life,' she says.  

She then proceeds to aggressively rip the masks from the shelves and fling them onto the floor.

Lively said she went from being 'the first person in the grocery store with a mask and gloves on' in February to going into 'denial about the pandemic' and losing trust in everyone including her husband because of 'digital brainwashing' by the conspiracy theory

Lively said she went from being 'the first person in the grocery store with a mask and gloves on' in February to going into 'denial about the pandemic' and losing trust in everyone including her husband because of 'digital brainwashing' by the conspiracy theory

Things reached breaking point when her husband gave her an ultimatum to choose between her life and family or the conspiracy theory, she said. Lively revealed she chose QAnon and left her family, moving into a hotel a few days before the viral encounter on July 4

Things reached breaking point when her husband gave her an ultimatum to choose between her life and family or the conspiracy theory, she said. Lively revealed she chose QAnon and left her family, moving into a hotel a few days before the viral encounter on July 4

'This s***'s over, this s***'s over, this s****'s over. Woo! I don’t need this s***. We don’t want any of this anymore, this s***'s over,’ she’s heard saying as she spreads the masks across the ground. 

Two Target employees then approach her as she makes her mess and say,' Ma’am can you please stop'.

'Why? You let everyone else do it. Why? I can’t do it cause I’m a blonde, white woman? Wearing a f***ing $40,000 Rolex? I don’t have the right to f*** s*** up?' she fumes.  

The second video shows cops at her home following the incident.

In the clip Lively claims she’s a spokesperson for QAnon and the White House.

'I was hired to be the QAnon spokesperson,' she said in the clip adding police can 'call Donald Trump and ask him' claiming she can’t share any 'classified information'. 

After claiming to be a spokesperson for the group the cop asks her to put her phone down. 

'You’re doing it to me cause I’m Jewish. You’re doing this to me cause I’m Jewish. This is a Nazi game. This is Nazi bulls***,' she says. 

Lively told Yahoo she lost everything because of QAnon and compared it to addiction to alcohol or drugs. 

'It was like hitting rock bottom for alcohol or drugs. My husband had filed for divorce. I had lost 100 percent of my business,' she said.

'I was basically the most-hated person on the Internet.'  

Other people lured in by QAnon have also spoken out in the hope others can learn from what happened to them. Ashley Vanderbilt, 27, broke her silence on TikTok earlier this year to share how she became so indoctrinated by the extreme right-wing conspiracy that even her four-year-old daughter knew 'something was wrong with her mom'

Other people lured in by QAnon have also spoken out in the hope others can learn from what happened to them. Ashley Vanderbilt, 27, broke her silence on TikTok earlier this year to share how she became so indoctrinated by the extreme right-wing conspiracy that even her four-year-old daughter knew 'something was wrong with her mom'

After her video incident went viral and her husband called the police, Lively was taken to a psychiatric facility where she continued to spew 'delusional claims about Q.'

She said doctors diagnosed her as having a manic-type episode because of the information she was consuming online. 

She said she learned she had been vulnerable to the conspiracies as she had never dealt with childhood trauma after losing both her parents at a young age.  

'I'm still in therapy. I’m still working through it every day, and still trying to apologize to people and repair relationships that I damaged, people’s feelings that I hurt,' she said. 

'I’m getting through it day by day. It was incredibly traumatic. I mean, it took probably 20 years off my life. I don’t know, but I’m still hanging in there.' 

QAnon is the debunked extreme right-wing conspiracy theory that claims Satan-worshipping pedophiles are plotting against Donald Trump and are running a global child sex trafficking ring.

The theory gained traction last year as Trump refused to denounce it and it was pushed online during the pandemic.  

Other people lured in by QAnon have also spoken out in the hope others can learn from what happened to them. 

Ashley Vanderbilt, 27, broke her silence on TikTok earlier this year to share how she became so indoctrinated by the extreme right-wing conspiracy that even her four-year-old daughter knew 'something was wrong with her mom.'  

Supporters of the theory were seen among the MAGA mob riot on the US Capitol back on January 6 that left five - including a Capitol cop - dead. Center the man known as the QAnon Shaman inside the Capitol

Supporters of the theory were seen among the MAGA mob riot on the US Capitol back on January 6 that left five - including a Capitol cop - dead. Center the man known as the QAnon Shaman inside the Capitol 

Before getting caught up in QAnon, Vanderbilt said she was passive with politics, didn't read the news and had always been someone 'that you just tell me what to do and I do it.'

She said she had always been a Republican as she grew up being told to be and was a Donald Trump supporter but ended up so far 'down the rabbit hole' she started viewing him as being above God.  

She said only realized that she 'wasn't 100% there' after Joe Biden's inauguration when she called her mom and told her 'we're all going to die.' 

The 27-year-old placed part of the blame on Donald Trump for pushing his agenda on 'fake news' and for not denouncing QAnon. 

Supporters of the theory were seen among the MAGA mob riot on the US Capitol back on January 6 that left five - including a Capitol cop - dead.

Security around the Capitol was ramped up again ahead of March 4 - the day supporters believed Trump would become president again.   

Arizona PR executive, 35, who filmed her own public meltdown wrecking a display of masks in Target claims she was 'digitally brainwashed' by QAnon and compares her 'radicalization' to alcoholism Arizona PR executive, 35, who filmed her own public meltdown wrecking a display of masks in Target claims she was 'digitally brainwashed' by QAnon and compares her 'radicalization' to alcoholism Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 06:36 Rating: 5

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